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Football Preview 2022: Litchfield Dragons' success hinges on new faces

Dietel, Christensen to anchor Dragons up front

Litchfield sophomore Jacob Dietel (71) and sophomore TJ Christensen (78) chase St. Cloud Cathedral's Jordan Schumann during a Week 4 game on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at Litchfield.
Litchfield sophomore Jacob Dietel (71) and sophomore TJ Christensen (78) chase St. Cloud Cathedral's Jordan Schumann during a Week 4 game on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at Litchfield.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
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LITCHFIELD — With winning records in each of the last two seasons, the Litchfield Dragons hope to keep that formula together in 2022.

In order to do that, the Dragons will have to find success with new faces, with just four starters returning on each side of the ball.

“Many new young men will step into new roles,” said Litchfield head coach Jim Jackman, who enters his 10th season.

“(We) lost a great group of seniors.”

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In the trenches, juniors Jacob Dietel and TJ Christensen both return as linemen on both offense and defense. Dietel is 6-foot and 235 pounds while Christensen is at 6-2 and 195. They’ll be joined on the defensive line by another returning starter in senior Bradley Larson (5-11, 185).

The returning trio will be joined on the defensive line by senior Chase Housman.

Junior Lukas Kuehl is another two-way starter back in the fold for the Dragons. At 5-11 and 175, he is a running back and linebacker. He ran for 1,068 yards and 10 touchdowns on offense and added 42 tackles on defense. Kuehl was an All-East Central South District honorable mention and an All-District Academic team selection.

On offense, another junior looks for an increased role in the 6-1 Blake Aller. Adding some depth to wideout is junior Jack McCann.

Litchfield will also get a boost on special teams with junior kicker/punter Garrison Jackman. The team’s kicker over the last two seasons, Jackman is 58 of 70 on PATs and 5 of 7 on field goals. He has averaged 32.5 yards on 29 punts.

Over the last two seasons, the Dragons have a 13-5 record.

Litchfield begins 2022 on Thursday, Sept. 1 at home against Milaca.

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The Litchfield defense shows blitz during a Week 4 game against St. Cloud Cathedral on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at Litchfield.
The Litchfield defense shows blitz during a Week 4 game against St. Cloud Cathedral on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at Litchfield.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Litchfield Dragons

Sept. 1 vs. Milaca, 7 p.m.

Sept. 9 at Holy Family Catholic, 7 p.m.

Sept. 16 vs. Glencoe-Silver Lake, 7 p.m.

Sept. 23 at St. Cloud Cathedral, 7 p.m.

Sept. 30 at New London-Spicer, 7 p.m.

Oct. 7 vs. Watertown-Mayer, 7 p.m.

Oct. 14 at Dassel-Cokato, 7 p.m.

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Oct. 19 vs. Annandale, 7 p.m.

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